JUDGE THOMAS F. TIPTON, a prominent attorney of Bloomington, was born near Harrisburg, Franklin Co., Ohio, Aug. 29, 1833. His father, Hiram Tipton, came to this State and county in the fall of 1844, and died March 20 of the following year. The latter was a native of the same county as his son, and occupied himself in farming pursuits in Ohio during the earlier years of his life. There also he was married to Miss Deborah, the daughter of Albert Ogden, Esq., of Fayette County, who was born the same year as her husband. After marriage they located in Franklin County, whence they removed to Pickaway County, where they lived until they started for the West. After reaching this county they settled upon a tract of land northeast of Bloomington, where the family resided for several years after the death of the father, and where our subject grew to manhood. The mother afterward married Henry Stumpff.

Thomas F. Tipton started out early in life on his own account, his first step being to still further perfect his studies by attendance at school in Lexington, under the instruction of Col. W. N. Coler. He then commenced teaching and also studying law, and after a time thus occupied entered upon the study of law in the office of H. N. Keightley, of Knoxville, and was admitted to practice in his twenty-first year, in June, 1854. He opened an office at Lexington, where he lived and practiced for seven years following, and then, in January, 1862, came to Bloomington and associated himself in partnership with Judge R. M. Benjamin. They operated together until 1870, in the meantime having taken in Judge Weldon. In 1870 Mr. Tipton was elected Circuit Judge, the circuit being composed of the counties of McLean, Logan and De Witt. Three years later the district was changed so that McLean and Ford Counties constituted the circuit, and he was re-elected in the new circuit. Judge Tipton continued to occupy this position until the 1st of March, 1877, when he resigned, having in the meantime been elected member of the Forty-fifth Congress, serving two years.

Our subject was married in this county in 1856, to Miss Mary J. Strayer, who was born and reared in Logan County, Ohio, being the daughter of Nicholas Strayer. Of this union there were born seven children, five now living—Harry V., Belle E., Helen F., Laura B. and Thomas W. In early life Judge Tipton was what was known as a Douglas Democrat, but on the breaking out of the war became a stanch Republican, and has always been prominent in the councils of his party in this State.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 609. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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